Proving Language Ability For Immigration To Canada
Posted on May 24, 2015
Every application for Canadian immigration made through an economic immigration program is, in some way, unique. One thing that the majority of principal applicants share in common, however, is the experience of proving language ability. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) affirms that the ability to communicate in one or both of Canada’s two official languages is key to finding employment and ensuring a smooth transition into Canadian life.
To help certify that prospective immigrants arrive in Canada with the language skills needed to succeed, many Canadian immigration programs require that applicants prove their ability to communicate in English and/or French by submitting results of a standardized language test recognized by the government of Canada.
Assessing proficiency: Canadian Language Benchmarks
English and French language proficiency, for immigration purposes, is assessed according to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) system. This ranks language proficiency for each of the four language skills, namely speaking, reading, writing, and listening. CLBs range from 1 to 12, with levels 1 to 4 considered a ‘basic’ level of proficiency, 5 to 8 considered ‘intermediate’, and 9 to 12 considered ‘advanced’.
An individual’s proficiency is determined using results from a test issued by a designated organization. There are two designated organizations for English language testing:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS),
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
CELPIP tests may only be taken within Canada, whereas IELTS tests are held in various locations around the world, including Canada. For French language testing, the only accepted test for federal economic immigration programs is the Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF).
The brand new Canada Immigration Language Converter is a tool that allows users to convert a range of test scores into their equivalent CLBs and vice versa. This simple tool also provides a description of each CLB per language ability, allowing users to gauge how and where they may improve their language skills, sit a language test with confidence, and continue along the path toward immigrating to Canada.
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